Mahanoy Area will defend cheerleader lawsuit
MAHANOY CITY — Mahanoy Area School District announced Wednesday that it will defend itself against a federal lawsuit alleging it violated a student’ s First Amendment rights in connection with a Snapchat posting of a photograph containing obscenities.
“Mahanoy will continue, as is its right, to defend its coaches’ decision in the federal litigation,” the one-page statement reads in part.
Parents of the student identified as B.L. sued the district on Sept .25 in U.S. District Court, alleging the suspension of their daughter from the cheerleading squad for the post unconstitutionally infringed on her rights.
Senior U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo issued a tempo- rary restraining order on Sept. 26 restoring B.L. to the squad. He then issued an injunction on Oct. 5 barring the school from dismissing the girl from the squad because of her post.
While Mahanoy Area said it will obey the orders, it believes that it will eventually prevail in the lawsuit.
“Mahanoy is confident that under the circumstances, its coaches’ decision will be upheld,” according to the statement, which the district said will be its only comment on the matter.
The coaches suspended the girl, allowing her to try out again for the squad once she had completed the suspension. The school board upheld the suspension, leading to the lawsuit.
“Mahanoy is confident that under the circumstances, its coaches’ decision will be upheld.” Mahanoy Area School District In a one-page response related to a federal lawsuit filed by the parents of a suspended cheerleader